Sunday, 10 January 2010

10th January 2010

An early morning one-hour visit wasn't too bad, with 5 Mute Swans at Engine Pool again but no sign of the hybrid goose nor most of the Canada Geese. At Windmill Pool, 2 Ravens flew over (1 landed briefly), whilst a Reed Bunting was seen along the western side.

I then moved on to Earlswood Moathouse NR, but the best I could manage in there were 3+ Redwings, a Coal Tit, 2 Nuthatches and a Jay. Along Earlswood Common, saw 2 Coal Tits (1 perhaps NR bird) and perhaps the biggest flock of Long-tailed Tits I've yet seen - 25 counted near the Reservoir pub.

Back at the lakes, saw 3 Herring Gulls (beware: one is rather small and a Common Gull look-alike!) and an impressive 50+ Siskins at Engine Pool, plus 10+ Goldfinches and 2 overhead Ravens (probably same birds seen earlier) at Terry's Pool. I'm very concerned about what this cold, snowy spell is doing to our wild birds and wonder what numbers I'll be noting once it's over, which I hear will be early February. I've noticed that Moorhens are much less evident around the lakes than in November and December - have the rest dispersed or perished?

M.P. Griffiths

P.S. I've started a thread on BirdForum about the hybrid goose here, in which I've uploaded some photos I took yesterday. I now think it's probably a Barnacle Goose x Greylag Goose, as I believe this is one of the more common goose hybrids, but I'm open to suggestion.

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